State Street construction creates difficulties for local businesses

Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 6:07 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 17, 2022 at 6:37 PM EDT
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BINGHAMTON (WBNG) -- Phase one of the Downtown Arts District “Streetscape” improvements began in April, focusing on upgrading the block of state streets between Henry and Lewis streets.

However, the construction has created some difficulties for some of the businesses lining the street.

According to Tom Haines, owner of Atomic Tom’s Gallery, the construction has made it difficult for customers to find parking that allows them to access the stores and restaurants quickly.

For the Forum Theatre, the construction has impacted the primary entrance for actors and shows.

To try to make events run as smoothly as possible, Visions Veterans Memorial Arena and Forum Theatre General Manager Chris Marion said the theatre kept in constant contact with the construction company.

“We had a point of contact with the construction company so whenever we have events going on, we let them know our event schedule, and they have staff on-site to make sure our delivery trucks can get in,” Marion said. “They adjust their schedule based on what’s going on behind the Forum.”

As for what will happen during the theatre’s busiest season, Marion said he hopes construction will be done.

“When we get busy going into September, certainly in October and November, hopefully, we’ll be back to normal, but we’ll see where the schedule is at that point,” Marion said.

Despite the difficulties construction has brought to local businesses, Haines said both he and his neighbors are looking forward to what the new street will bring.

“This is so positive for what the streets are about, the art scene,” Haines said. “People can come down here and enjoy, safely enjoy crossing the street and seeing art.”

Haines and other business owners said they had positive experiences communicating with the construction company.

The State St. construction is expected to be completed by fall.